Johson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies – the human microbiota and health
“As soon as he is born, man becomes the habitat of a very rich microbial flora. The skin, the mucous membranes and the gastrointestinal contents become stocked with such a flora, but a very small number of these microorganisms have up to the present been recognised or described…For long it was thought that in healthy individuals all these micro-organisms were inoffensive and sometimes even useful.”
– Elie Metchnikoff, 1901, The Prolongation of Life
Unprecedented healthcare opportunity
The microbiome refers to the complex community of microbial organisms that live in, on and around us. In the early twentieth century, Metchnikoff proposed a scientific rationale for the beneficial effects of bacteria, hypothesizing their importance in health for the first time. Today, we understand that bacteria and the microbiome play a crucial role in both sickness and health, with the potential to maintain health, as well as prevent, intercept and cure disease.
At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, we’re interested in the human microbiome and the role ‘bugs’ play in impacting the health of consumers and patients, alike. We established the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI) in 2015 to bring focus to microbiome expertise and innovations across Janssen and Johnson & Johnson. Headed by Dr. Dirk Gevers and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the JHMI is a “one-stop shop” for microbiome innovators, offering experience and expertise to deliver microbiome-based health solutions to market.
The JHMI is working alongside researchers to deepen the understanding of host-microbe interactions, develop tools for standardized analytics, define regulatory pathways, and partner with the scientific community to advance translation of the science. Within the JHMI and across the J&J enterprise, our goal is to help innovators advance and bring about meaningful microbiome-based medicines, diagnostics, and solutions to individuals in order to improve and promote health and well-being.